Last month, Senator Manny Pacquiao has proposed the Senate Bill No. 1270 which opts for a “National Bible Day,” to be a regular holiday and that January be the 'National Bible Month'.
“As a predominantly Christian nation and the largest Christian nation in the Asia Pacific, this Act recognizes the value of the Holy Bible as the core of Christian faith,” the bill states.
“The last Monday of January and every year thereafter is hereby declared as a ‘National Bible Day Act’ and proclaim the same as a national holiday."
President Rodrigo Duterte declared the approval of Pacquiao's bill in his Proclamation No. 124 dated Jan. 5. He signed the order by citing the 1987 Constitution that compels the national government to encourage such ethical and spiritual values of the citizens to help them improve their morality.
The bill also appoints every last week of January as “National Bible Week.”
Previously, the President called the leaders of the Catholic Church as 'hypocrites', even reminded the Filipinos not to believe in them.
During his campaign, he also cursed Pope Francis and said that he was a 'son of a b*tch' who only caused traffic jams in Metro Manila.
However, according to him, history has proven that the 'profound impact' of the Holy Bible. The president noted that the religious scripture has touched and moved so many lives in all nations and that it is a recognizable help upon the betterment of the country when influencing its statesmen and social reformers.
“(I)t is fitting and proper for the molding of the spiritual, moral and social fiber of our citizenry, that national attention be focused on the importance of reading and studying the Bible,” read a portion of the proclamation.
“(W)hile maintaining neutrality in its treatment of all religious communities, the government is not precluded from pursuing valid objectives secular in character even if it would have an incidental result affecting a particular religion or sect."
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